In a world of beauty fridges, jade face rollers and aesthetically-pleasing skin care packaging, it can be extremely hard to know what’s worth investing in and what just looks good on the ‘gram. Because our beauty addictions are expensive as it is, and if we’re splashing out on something flashy we want to know that it’s actually going to DELIVER.
Exhibit A: Face steamers. You’ve probably seen the portable at-home versions floating round on Instagram or in some department stores and have wondered if they’re the real deal. We all know one of the most satisfying parts of a facial treatment is when the therapist takes a steamer to our face (bye congestion!), but how do those at-home versions shape up? Is this a little slice of skin-perfecting goodness we’re totally missing out on?
To find out more about the buzz around face steamers, and if they’re worth investing in, we spoke to Biologi’s Dermal Specialist Lucy Kuper.
What is a face steamer?
Let’s start at the very beginning, shall we? What is a face steamer? Basically, it’s a device that uses warm steam to open and cleanse clogged pores and helps get rid of congestion. You simply position your face over the device, and allow the steam to work its magic!
“A face steamer is essentially a device or regimen where you infuse your skin with moisture, which can then enhance and accelerate the rest of your routine,” says Kuper. “Face steamers have also been used in the past for medicinal benefits, with the heat assisting to remove toxins and easing sinus congestion.”
What are the benefits of steaming your face?
According to Kuper, a facial steamer basically makes your entire skin care routine more effective – it essentially allows products to absorb deeper into the skin for better results. “There are a few benefits of face steaming, namely by hydrating the face, opening the pores, removing toxins, and promoting blood circulation. This acts like the perfect primer for your face to get it into the optimal state to allow better penetration of products.”
“Besides the beauty benefits, facial steamers can also be an incredibly relaxing way to unwind after a busy day. You can incorporate the steaming in with some light meditation and breathing techniques which can then have an array of other benefits like a better night’s sleep!”
Can face steamers be used for acne or blackheads?
While face steamers might not get rid of acne or blackheads on their own, it can certainly help the process of elimination, especially when used in combination with other products (like a purifying mask). “Acne and blackheads are generally caused by blocked pores and the heat from the steam will open your pores which can aid in eliminating some of the toxins,” explains Kuper. “As you sweat from the steam, this can break away some of the excess sebum that might be causing the acne or blackheads. The other benefit is the fact that face steaming cleanses your face thoroughly, which can help prevent these types of skin conditions.”
How to steam your face at home
Before using a facial steamer, Kuper advises removing any makeup and doing a deep cleanse to ensure you get the most out of the skin care tool. Generally, most facial steamers will have some sort of tank that holds water for steaming. Check the user manual and fill the steamer with the adequate level of water as instructed. It should also let you know if the device is compatible with essential oils (some devices might have a separate compartment for this) for an even more relaxing at-home spa experience.
Once you switch on the device, the steam should begin to come out (you might have to wait a few seconds), at which point you should position your face over the spurt. Each steamer should come with a panel of settings you can use to control the temperature. It’s usually recommended to steam your face for five to 10 minutes max.
How often can you use a face steamer?
These are cool little devices and it can be tempting to steam your face at home every single day, but don’t go too crazy! Kuper says using it once a week should do the trick. “Any more than that and you’re risking stripping your skin of its natural oils as a result from over cleansing,” she says.